Continuing our Healthy Weight Week series, we asked attorney Tim Burns to talk about his personal journey toward healthiness.
A Healthier Michigan: What motivated you to start pursuing a healthier lifestyle?
Tim Burns: Discovering that my daughter has a severe peanut allergy was a catalyst because at that point we had to become constantly vigilant about the ingredients and potential contamination of foods both at home and when are out and about. The food allergy really became a life altering factor not just for her but for our whole family. We decided to make a positive out of a negative and have used the situation to also put a greater emphasis on having our family eat healthier and live a more active lifestyle.
AHM: What has been your biggest obstacle and how did you overcome it?
TB: Sometime life with career obligations and family matters just makes it hard to want to put the extra effort into doing the healthy thing, but I find scheduling workouts on my calendar as if they were work assignments helps and have found if you stick with daily routines after awhile they become habitual and not as much effort to force yourself to do on a daily basis. We try to stay active as a family affair too such as by going for walks or bike rides together every night after dinner when the weather is nice or making sure as parents we include ourselves in actively playing with our kids at the park or in the backyard.
AHM: For people just starting their pursuit of healthiness, what is one piece of advice they need to have to be successful?
TB: Moderation – you most likely aren’t going to make whole scale changes overnight and if you do too much you most likely are going to fizzle out and stop or get hurt from exercising too hard. Create a realistic routine and stick with it so that healthy habits are things that enhance your life rather than become chores that you force yourself to do. Remember you don’t have to just go to the gym to get a workout – going for an adventure on a nature trail with your family or chasing your preschoolers around the backyard can get the job done too – incorporating fun and exciting things to do in your everyday life can keep you fit and healthy too!
Tim Burns is a Troy-based attorney who focuses on criminal defense, estate planning and probate issues, consumer protection matters, contract law, and small business representation. Prior to starting his own law practice in 2010, Tim was a consumer advocate with the Better Business Bureau for more than a decade. He is a graduate of University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and completed his legal clerkship with the Michigan Attorney General’s High Tech Crime Unit. Tim and his wife Barbra live in Clawson with their 4 year old twins Jack & Maggie.